Quiz 1: Criminal Law and Punishment: an Overview
Brief summary of the case: Mr.C, a military officer, was sentenced with one-year imprisonment along with the provision for parole at the discretion of the parole board.Mr.C is convicted for the crime of forcible rape and robbery of the victim.State A has gone for appeal.The Supreme Court has disapproved the sentence stating that it is too lenient for the crimes conducted by Mr.C and not contributing towards the reformation of the defendant. 1) Trial judge's arguments on Mr.C's sentence: The trial judge has given one-year imprisonment and provision for parole to Mr.C for the crimes of rape and robbery.The Supreme Court felt it as very lenient punishments for such serious crimes.The trial judge is having mainly two arguments in favor of his judgment. In first argument the trial judge points out that Mr.C is having a very clean and impressing track record in military.He is not having any criminal records in prior and not addicted to drugs and alcohol also.Apart from that, another argument states that the statement of the victim against Mr.C is only partially believable. The trial judge is of the view that keeping Mr.C in the military service is better for him as well as others concerned, than putting him in the jail. 2) Reason for State A's Supreme Court to disapprove the sentence: State A's Supreme Court finds the trial judge has imposed very lenient punishments to Mr.C while the circumstances of the crimes are considered.Rape and robbery are two serious crimes and one-year imprisonment with parole provision is not justifiable for that. The Supreme Court argues that these punishments are not achieving the goals of reformation of the defendant.A longer imprisonment would bring reaffirmation to society's condemnation on forcible rape and robbery.It helps the division of corrections of the State A to determine whether any special treatment is needed before he returns to the society. 3) Sentence for the purpose of retribution: For the purpose of retribution, the offenders have to be punished with harsh treatments.The term of the imprisonment should have been increased and additional fines or penalties should have been charged.In order to express the society's as well as judiciary's condemnation towards such inhuman crimes, the convicts had to be punished with severe imprisonments and prison treatments. Sentences for the purpose of rehabilitation: In order to rehabilitate the offenders, along with the incarceration there should be special treatments to bring them back to the pre-crime situation in the society.The division of correction of State A takes care of such treatments and counselling of the convicts that make them realizes their guilt and feels remorse for the crimes they have committed. 4) Whether the trial court judge's sentence fit the condemnation and hard treatment: The sentence of trial court judge on the crimes of rape and robbery did not serve the purpose of condemnation and hard treatment.While comparing with the seriousness of the crimes, these punishments are very light and create no impact on the society.Usually the punishment for rape carries an imprisonment ranging from one to twenty years and robbery convicts are imprisoned from one to fifteen years. Mr.C, as a military officer with good service record, has sentenced with only one-year imprisonment with parole provision.This sentence cannot provide proper hard treatment while considering the violent nature of the circumstances surrounding these cruel crimes. Conclusion: In the case of State versus D, the convicts are sentenced with very lenient punishments as compared with the seriousness of the crime he has committed.The Supreme Court has disapproved the sentence stating that it does not achieve the objective of either retribution or rehabilitation.